Every year there is one single image from backstage that I fall madly in love with when going back into my camera, and this year is undeniably the beauty that is Ola Rudnicka. Her perfect [and I mean perfect] fair complexion, blue eyes, that platinum blonde hair, all complimented by that mustard sweater... I feel like it speaks way more than 1,000 words, no?
Season after season one of my favorite presentations to see is Kate Spade. Not because it's my favorite designed collection, but because it is always a genuinely fun experience. You walk around and look at everyone's faces... the fashion girls looking down as they realize their toes peaking over their stilettos are grazing real sod... the models striking a pose with a huge smile for each passerby that lifts their iphone for that perfect #behindthescenes Instagram photo... the glimpse of Brad smiling as he watches the scene unfold... and every whimsical clutch held by those perfectly manicured Deborah Lipmman hands...
Have you ever been scrolling through your Pinterest feed and started to notice that there are a lot of different types of imagery that flows into one another? I had someone mention that part of my feed showed image after image connecting through the colors, details, or even composition, creating an almost ombré affect. I'd like to take full credit of that, but most of the time when that happens it's unintentional and just beautiful moments in time, organically coming together before my eyes.
I usually only do one 'side by side' at a time [sampling here, here and here], but these were all speaking to me and I just couldn't choose...
I wasn't always into fashion. In fact, I was considered a bonafide tomboy until about sophomore year until I decided to put on some makeup, get a job in retail + stopped wearing the same outfits week after week. In reality, this time period was all about the return of bell bottom flared jeans, those tattoo choker necklaces + butterfly clips [all from Wet Seal], so you can't really blame me can you?
While this experimental phase usually had me browsing the sale racks for some unique pieces so I didn't look like everyone I passed in the hallway [I had a lot of patience for this then and wish I still had it at times], the one thing I found myself allowing myself to spend money on were quality shoes. Again, the shoes I wore then were 100% questionable + added at least 10 lbs below my ankles, but they always held up.
Since then I have learned the hard way, and been reinforced by some fashionable friends [both male and female] that you get what you pay for. You know those snakeskin sandals I wear in pretty much every post? I got them for about $200 on sale at Barney's Co-op about 2 years ago and I wear them to death. And you know why? Besides the fact that they are gorgeous, they are the most comfortable shoes I own because they were made really, really well. I can walk to the subway, work all day, and go out at night in reasonable comfort.
What's my point, you ask? My new job has now placed me about 500 feet away from Saks Fifth Avenue [DANGER] which I went to a few weeks ago, finding myself in their Designer Sale looking back at a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps that I was lusting over months back [there is actually a Nicholas Kirkwood pair, too, but I digress]. While the original $700 price tag was too much for me in February, I could reasonably justify spending 1/4 of that. I usually consider pieces that are snakeskin and leopard my 'neutrals', so the silver and black details didn't deter me to add these as a similar staple. Oh, how great these will look with some cuffed boyfriend jeans and this same top...
Not going to restate the obvious about deborah lippmann polish [you can go for that here, here and here], but I will rave about her new New York Marquee collection that just launched. She did it again. She is calling this fresh metallic finish "luxe chrome", which I couldn't have named better myself - there is something about the way that light catches these finishes on the nail that is pretty hard to top and does feel truly luxe. And the colors! It's hard for someone with such pale skin to pull off a silver, gold or rose nail, but these compliment the skin instead of the color reflecting on it [you know, when you put on a color and your skin seems to turn that shade slightly?].
While I'm not totally ready to upgrade for Fall just yet, when I do I will be starting with that insanely good pewter color [Take The "A" Train] and promise to share the results!
"From Bowery to Broadway, each nail lacquer reflects the ever-dazzling sights, sounds, and spirit of the city. Inspired by 1940's luxury and vintage fabrics, the collection of six colors employs an innovative, new luxe chrome finish."
I have always lusted after Diptyque, but usually from a far distance as the thought of spending more than $10 on a candle would pain me. That was before my obsession with all things fig started.
I came across a lovely fig candle in a Nolita shop that I couldn't get my mind off of, but couldn't find when I went back. When I found myself in the Diptyque store a few days later and smelled theirfig version, I instantly fell in love. Such a lovely scent and not overwhelming, which is key for me because anything with too much fragrance makes me slightly nauseous [it happens when you had an evil relative growing up that bathed in Chanel No. 5].
The problem I have now is trying another scent... I just don't think I can come to trying something new. Even though I have brought home a few pretty stellar sample fragrances that are as close to perfect as they come, there is just so much about this scent that makes my apartment feel like home.
I've said it before and I'll say it again... it's all about mixing highs and lows. This recent outfit [which you may have seen last week on Instagram with different shoes] includes pieces that were from $7.95 to a whopping $1,000+ [it was a gift mom, relax!]. To me, it makes an outfit a bit more interesting and balanced when it's not one extreme or the other. And honestly, it's very hard to wear such an over the top statement necklace without a basic top to balance it out.
I am a creature of habit. I don't usually change my beauty regime often and when I find something good, I usually always stick to it. That being said, I also have been exploring more when it comes to products, mostly skincare for my face and a bold lip. When you are younger, changing the product that you apply above the neck is more harmful than good, but when you age this is something that you actually need to do. And, always being a bit bummed when the first week glow disappears, I am exploring my options.
Since I last shared the goods, I have tried out numerous things, and signed up for Birchbox to be a bit more proactive. One of my favorite products from there so far is a Cynthia Rowley silver eyeliner that works similar to Benefit's Eye Bright, but as my skin can get a bit oily and Eye Bright can sometimes get stuck in my under eye wrinkles, the eyeliner sticks a bit more and lasts longer for me. A brightener like this is the easiest way to make your eyes pop in a 'natural' way.
On the SPF front...what a journey. I used to have an amazing every day SPF that has seemingly vanished from existence, leaving me to experiment. I must have gone through 5 brands and always ended up with either white clumps on my face, a lotion that didn't spread well and a lotion that didn't absorb and made me look like Casper. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture hit the mark on every need, but I need to be clear, the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer line is the one that left white clumps on my face. You need to test. You also need to be open to returning the products when Casper is not your goal [I always made fun of my mother for doing this, but as I'm quickly turning into her, I decided to listen].
I've also started using the sensitive line of Roc products for nighttime. BUT, products like this need to be researched because as I luckily found out from knowledgeable colleagues, you should not use this on days when you go in the sun. The Retinol and the sun can damage your skin in ways you don't want to deal with. So, this becomes a Monday-Thursday nighttime routine, nothing more.
To quickly review the remaining 'tops', e.l.f.'s primer is so, so, so good. And it's under $6. And you can grab it from Target on your weekly run. The texture is perfect. I was also introduced to Buxom's line of lipsticks - matte is something I have usually ran from because of the drying affect, but this... this lipstick I can't get enough of. It has gotten me through HOURS of wear, through sips of a drink, and even through lunch. I still love my custom Bite lip, but I'm slightly obsessed with this new one and can't stop.
Lastly, I have been wearing nail polish since September/October without a break and my nails need some major TLC. Deborah Lippmann's nail care [you know how I adore the colors] are kind of key to having bare nails, but nice looking bare nails. Using the cuticle oil is a necessity always, but the Smooth Operator [any 4-in1 file, really] allows your nails to breath, look good and have a natural shine.
It seems like a lot, but each has a purpose, and each is used when needed. The key is to test it out and find your rhythm, like anything else.